Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My third semester at university has come to a close.

I'm one of those people who thrive at school. If I had the money for it I'd get more degrees than you could shake a stick at. As it is, I'm become even more enamored with my major: anthropology. It might have something to do with having a professor who brings in a traditional Mexican healer, a Lakota Soiux woman, and a sound healer and lets them do their thing: a healing, a ritual, a sampling of singing bowls. (This is the same professor who has the class sit in a circle, allows the students to guide the course as they will, and wears the most amazing Native America turquoise amulet ring.) And then there was also the research I did: I interviewed two CSA farmers and wrote a twenty-five page paper complied from said interviews. I felt like a real anthropologist; I was.

This semester: I was introduced to this book, I wrote two papers about this couple, I watched this horribly sad film, and became a reader for my school's literary magazine.

And yet I do not know what I want to be "when I grow up." People ask me this question constantly, it seems. Nervously, I answer some ridiculous little something about perhaps working in non-profits, or museums, or maybe permaculture. When I say I'm studying anthropology I typically get one of two responses (except the one time when the reply I received was an obscenity): "Wow!" and "What are you going to do with that?"

The truth is I don't know. I'd like to, but I don't. It used to bother me that I didn't have a firm job title in mind, something I could cling to and say: this is exactly what I'm after. I'm not studying anthropology because I want to be an anthropologist. We do not live in a world that needs another Margaret Mead or Claude Levi-Strauss. That I understand. But we do live in a world where we need people who are work to create cross-cultural understanding. I want to be one of those people. And I wouldn't mind getting my hands dirty in the process.

At this point in time, that is as much as I know. And that is okay. Ken Robinson, in one of his TED talks, says we can't predict with any accuracy what the state of the world is going to be at the end of the week, let alone in five years, so how can we prepare? Now, I do not feel the need to chose a career and say absolutely this is what I am going to do with my life. What I have is the present, and in it all I can do is study what I love, and open my mind, my eyes, and mouth.

And get really good grades. That helps too.

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